Fighting Heart Disease with Heart-healthy Living
Rohit Sehgal, MD
Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology
Heart disease is the
leading cause of death in the U. S., affecting over 121 million adults. Although the statistic
is staggering, it is important to remember that heart disease is largely
preventable. Learning to recognize and combat the key factors that contribute
to heart disease — even the those that are beyond our control —
is a step that everyone can take towards countering this alarming epidemic.
Reducing your risk of heart disease starts with understanding the
common risk factors that contribute to it, and making the necessary changes to adopt a more
Heart-healthy living involves understanding your personal level of risk,
proactively checking your heart health with screenings, maintaining a
proper diet, and getting plenty of exercise. Adopting a heart-healthy
lifestyle will allow you to eliminate or avoid the controllable risk factors
in your life, and can even have a positive impact on the uncontrollable
factors, like family history or gene mutations.
Here are a few ways to start living a heart-healthy lifestyle:
Incorporate Regular Exercise – the American Heart Association recommends that adults get
at least 120 combined minutes of aerobic exercise every week in order to lower their blood pressure
and strengthen their heart. It can be helpful to stay active with a variety
of exercises, and it is also encouraged to incorporate outdoor activities
as often as possible.
Eat a Heart-healthy Diet – a heart-healthy diet is one that is low in carbohydrates, low in sodium,
and high in fiber. Heart-healthy diets also include a variety of fresh
fruits and vegetables, lean meats like fish and chicken, and
“good fats” like nuts, olive oil, or avocados, which contain healthy cholesterol.
It can be helpful to work with a dietician or
nutrition specialist, who can help you design a heart-healthy diet plan and support you as
you adopt these changes.
Limit Tobacco and Alcohol – Those who smoke are at an
increased risk of developing high blood pressure, and are also at a higher risk of a
variety of other coronary diseases. The same can be said for those who
consume excessive amounts of alcohol. It is recommended that adults limit
their alcohol consumption.
Get Regular Heart-Health Screenings – Not all factors of our heart health are in our control.
Family history and unique genetic makeups play a large role in a person’s heart health and their risk for
heart disease. Talking with your doctor about your personal risk factors
is extremely important, as he or she can help you assess these complications
while navigating your best course of preventive treatment. It is also
important to get regular heart-health screenings. Adults over the age
of 20 should have their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride
levels monitored at least once a year by their primary care physician.
The Washington Hospital medical staff includes a dedicated team of primary
care physicians and skilled cardiologists who work diligently to provide
patients with the tools and support they need to live heart-healthy lifestyles.
Washington Hospital also hosts a series of
Health & Wellness Seminars to educate and empower the Bay Area community on heart health and similar
Talk to your primary care provider about your risks for heart disease and
the steps you can take to lower them, or visit the Washington Hospital
website to learn more about our
heart and vascular wellness program.
Posted February, 2020
About Rohit Sehgal, MD
Rohit Sehgal, MD, is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular
Disease, and Interventional Cardiology. He has been practicing clinical
and interventional cardiology in the East and South Bay for over 20 years.
Dr. Sehgal graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Science,
New Delhi, India and came to the United States to complete his Internal
Medicine Residency at Cook County Hospital in Illinois. Dr. Sehgal then
completed his Internal Medicine residency in Detroit, Michigan, followed
by two fellowship years in Cardiology and Invasive at Northwestern University
in Chicago. He went on to complete a fourth-year fellowship in Interventional
Cardiology in Portland, Oregon. Very active in the Washington Hospital
Healthcare community, Dr. Sehgal currently serves as the Chief of the
Cardiology section at Washington Hospital and is a well-respected member.
He has served as the Chief of Cardiology at St. Rose Hospital and currently
holds an Adjunct Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford
University School of Medicine.